Travel and credit card promos for 2021

We’re starting to see information dribbling out about new promotions from the credit card issuers for COVID-19 part 2.

Updated 2021-02-01 9:20am – Amex Business cell phone reward, Uber Cash/Eats Pass for Amex Gold active
Updated 2021-01-04 1:30pm – BizPlat bonus Membership Rewards points, incoming Uber benefit for Gold

If rsts11travel helps you out, consider helping us out. See our support page for referrals, or send us a virtual coffee.

Credit card links in this post are not referrals, and we don’t get a cent if you use these links. See below if you’re looking to support us with a credit card referral.

As you may recall, several premium cards made adjustments to their bonus and promotional offers in 2020 since travel rewards were harder to earn and redeem. American Express offered $20 each toward streaming services and mobile phone services per month on their personal Platinum card, and $20 each toward shipping and mobile phone services on the business Platinum card, from May through December. They also added bonus travel and Dell credits. Chase expanded their points earning and travel credit redemption categories on the Chase Sapphire Reserve among other cards. And some cards offered a partial credit toward the $400+ annual fees.

We’ll track the new (or renewed) offerings here, for those of you who can’t travel yet, and for those who can. Where possible, we’ll share primary sources as well, so you can review the full details. And we’ll also include quarterly bonus cash back categories as we see them.

American Express

American Express is offering a $30/month Paypal rebate on the personal Platinum charge card for the first six months of the year. This looks to be useful for any online retailers accepting Paypal, as well as eBay purchases paying with Paypal.

It looks like the Business Platinum charge card. has 4 bonus Membership Rewards (MR) points per dollar spent on each of several categories, up to 80,000 bonus MR points each. Your bonus categories include:

  • Shipping services (i.e. Fedex, USPS, UPS)
  • Gas
  • Advertising
  • Wireless services
  • Office supplies

Check your Amex Offers section to add these to your card if you’re eligible. Not everyone will be able to max these categories (at $20,000 spend per category), but every little bit helps.

Many people are seeing a $15/month rebate on wireless phone services on one of their business cards as of February 1. Check your Amex Offers in the app or on the website. This may be on Business Platinum or another Business charge or credit card; ours appeared on the Amex Delta Skymiles business credit card. This is available through the end of the year, for a total benefit of $165. Takes a nice bite out of the $195 annual fee on this card.

Also fresh on February 1 are the Amex Gold Uber benefits, which will replace the airline fee credit after this year. This may be a bit complicated:

  • Current cardmembers still get the $100 airline fee credit; it goes away on December 31, 2021.
  • The $120 dining credit ($10/mo) is still there for Grubhub, Seamless, Boxed, Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris, and Shake Shack.
  • A new $120 Uber Cash offer begins February 1. You get $10 in Uber Cash (usable for Uber rides or Uber Eats) on the first of each month. Like the Platinum $15/mo benefit, it comes around each month and must be used that month. Unlike the Platinum benefit, there’s no December bonus.
  • You can also get a 12 month subscription to Eats Pass for free by adding your Gold card to your Uber Eats wallet. If you already have another Eats Pass promo, it will be interesting to see if this offer will replace it when it expires.

Not pandemic-related, but the Saks Fifth Avenue $50 credit resets for January-June 2021 on personal Platinum cards, and the Dell $100 credit for the same period on business Platinum cards also resets. Check for Amex Offers with either brand to get even more out of these purchases, and make sure you’re signed up for Dell Rewards to get a few extra bucks on top of it all.

There may be other benefits that pop up in the Amex Offers section of their website and mobile app. Be sure to check these from time to time, as they may come and go, and vary from card to card and member to member.

Juicy Amex Offers seen on January 4 include $50 back on $50 or more spent at Home Depot, Best Buy, and Home Chef meal service, the former two being available for two uses each. There is also a $50 back on $250 for Instacart, again usable twice–and it can be multiple transactions, so you don’t need to buy a new fridge to qualify, although Home Depot and Best Buy could help you with that expense too. These were on our personal Platinum, but your mileage may vary of course.

Chase

Chase Freedom has 5% cash back on wholesale clubs, internet/cable/phone, and streaming services, up to $1500 in spend for January-March (up to $75 in cash back for these categories). This is the traditional cash back offer, not a pandemic special offer.

Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve continue to offer pandemic bonus points on grocery store purchases through April 30, 2021 (2x for CSP, 3x for CSR). There are other benefits for Doordash, Peloton, and Lyft, as well as expanded “Pay Yourself Back” options to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points. See this link for the current offerings and terms.

The Chase promotion on Lyft can be particularly profitable. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you get 10 points per dollar spent, as well as the Lyft Pink benefits including 15% off, and rebates from the $300 annual travel credit while it lasts. Spending $100 in Lyft rides would come to $85 charged to your card, 850 points (which are worth $12.75 or more), and the $85 can be rebated if you have remaining travel credit. So you get paid over $12 for those rides.

Discover

Discover has 5% cash back on grocery stores, Walgreens, and CVS, up to $1500 in spend for January -March(up to $75 in cash back for these categories). This is the traditional cash back offer, not a pandemic special offer.

If you redeem for gift cards, be sure to check the bonus cash on those. You get at least 5% “bonus cash” for any gift card from the Discover cashback redemption program, but some cards offer 20-30% extra.

That’s all for now

Found anything we missed? Need a referral for any of the cards mentioned? Contact us through the form below or put a comment at the bottom and we’ll see what we can do.

Last updated February 1, 2021

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.